Japanese official seeking to mend trade relations

Japan's foreign minister, Shintaro Abe, said his country will continue to open up its markets to foreign imports and appealed to the United States and Western Europe to avoid trade conflict.

After talks with European Commission President Gaston Thorn and other officials, Mr. Abe said both sides had agreed to raise regular trade talks to ministerial level in a bid to stave off what he called a collision course. Brussels was the first leg of a five-nation tour designed to ease friction over trade relations between Western Europe and Tokyo.

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